Online Event

The $100,000 Veteran Pitch Competition (Online Event)

Pitch your startup to experts

Nov 17, 2021
01:00 pm - 03:30 pm
Online Event
Event Banner Image
In honor of Veterans Day, the Founder Institute is hosting our first-ever $100,000 Veteran Pitch Competition. On this live online event you can watch as promising Veteran and Military Spouse-founded startups pitch a group of investors for a chance to be offered a $100,000 investment. In addition, there will be several networking sessions to connect with others from around the world. This event will be attended by hundreds of angels, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs, and feature an inspiring talk by former Navy Seal, Entrepreneur, and NY Times Bestselling Author Mark Devine.

About the Keynote Speakers: Mark Divine: Navy Seal, Author and CEO:

Mark Divine is an expert in human performance as it’s displayed in mental toughness, leadership and physical readiness based on an integral warrior-leader model that he developed and tested on over a thousand special operations candidates worldwide which resulted in over a 90% success rate for the candidates. It’s now taught to executives, top athletes, professionals, first responders, and warriors from all walks of life.

He is also the Founder and CEO of several highly successful enterprises including but not limited to: SEALFIT and He also co-founded the Coronado Brewing Company in Coronado, CA.

Mark's other professional experiences includes 20 years as a Navy SEAL officer, retiring as a Commander in 2011. Also 4 years as a CPA with the firm now known as PriceWaterhouseCoopers prior to his joining the Navy and he authored four books: "The Way of the SEAL," published by Reader's Digest, "8 Weeks to SEALFIT" and "Kokoro Yoga" by St. Martin's Press, and "Unbeatable Mind" and  "The SEALFIT Training Guide", both self-published.

Investor Panelists:

  • Mike Sherbakov is CEO of Greatness Collective and General Partner at The Veteran Fund. Mike has led the business accelerator, Greatness Ventures, to thousands of investor members and hundreds of companies in their impact portfolio. His venture philanthropy arm has built homes in underdeveloped communities since 2014 and continues to run and organize impact trips open for the community to join. Mike's past clients and partners include Fitbit, lululemon athletica, Equinox, and Qualcomm. He served on active duty as a United States Marine, has traveled to 58 countries and counting, and believes strongly that our greatness is not what we have but what we give.
  • Emily McMahan is the Deputy Director at  Common Mission Project and Co-Founder & General Partner at Academy Investor Network: The Academy Investor Network (AIN), is a seed-stage venture fund and investment syndicate of graduates from the U.S. military service academies. Before these roles, Emily founded and led a military veteran-focused incubator called Capitol Post that advised hundreds of startups to leverage the region's strong business and startup community. Capitol Post drew upon her positive experiences at a successful startup technology firm serving the federal government.
  • James Africano is a Startup Advisor and National Security Investor and Air Force Reserve Officer who currently serves as a Partner at Regolith Ventures. As a Department of Defense Contracting Officer James has experience operating in a wide spectrum of commercial and government sectors. James has helped over 90+ companies scale and commercialize their technology in defense and commercial sectors. Previously, he served 8 years in the Air Force managing over $3.2 Billion worth of contract assets for Air Force, Space Force, and SOCOM.
  • Taylor Mclemore is Founder & Board Director for Patriot Boot Camp & Managing Director at TechStars. Taylor is a  supporter of Veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs who is also an investor, whose specialties include: strategy, investment, product, BizDev and the future of work. Taylor is also fluent in Spanish and enjoys building teams and scaling ventures. 

Meet the Selected Veteran Startup Finalists!

Who Should Attend?

  • Angel and early-stage investors looking to invest in startups
  • Anyone interested in technologies and innovation from the military veteran community
  • Alumni, mentors, and friends of the Founder Institute
  • Anyone who wants to hear promising early-stage startups pitch live



Ryan Micheletti

Head of Global Operations @ Founder Institute


Mark Divine

Navy SEAL, Author and CEO @ Unbeatable, LLC


Mike Sherbakov

General Partner @ The Veteran Fund


Emily McMahan

Partner @ Academy Investor Network


James Africano

General Partner @ Regolith Ventures


Taylor Mc Lemore

Managing Director @ Techstars

Platinum Partners

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